(CNN) — In times of sorrow, we lean on those close to us. And if we’re lucky, those people can make us smile. Former President George W. Bush and former first lady Michelle Obama have reminded us of that fact twice this year.
At the state funeral of his father, former President George H.W. Bush, the junior Bush greeted the dignitaries in the front row, including the Clintons and the Trumps. Also in the front row were Michelle Obama and her husband, former President Barack Obama.
Bush appeared to hand something from his left hand to his right hand, then on to Mrs. Obama. She smiled and closed her fist, apparently around something Bush had handed her.
That moment mirrored a similar exchange between Bush and Obama in September at the memorial service of Sen. John McCain. Bush, seated next to Obama in the front row, handed something to her. She softly thanked him. After that event, a Bush spokesman confirmed that Bush had handed her a cough drop.
The apparent callback to that warm moment in an oft-documented friendship between the two brought a moment of levity to the service celebrating a life well-lived.
The pair are often seated next to each other during events, including the interfaith memorial service for the victims of the Dallas police shooting in July, last year’s funeral for former first lady Nancy Reagan and the 2015 commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the historic civil rights march in Selma, Alabama.
“President Bush and I are forever seatmates because of protocol – that’s how we sit at all the official functions,” Obama said on NBC’s “Today” show. “So he is my partner in crime at every major thing where all the formers gather.”
“I love him to death,” USA Today quoted Obama as saying. “He’s a wonderful man. He’s a funny man.”
“She kind of likes my sense of humor. Anybody who likes my sense of humor, I immediately like,” Bush told People magazine
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. CNN contributed to this report.)